S’more Season

It is mid-June and I have already lost count of how many nights we have had bonfires and roasted marshmallows.  (Also known as experiencing *bliss*.)  There are certain skills involved in toasting your marshmallow to perfection which can rightly be acquired after years of experience.  Anticipation of the divine fellowship that the marshmallow will have with the graham cracker and chocolate is sometimes too much to bear.  While perfection involves patience, and the aforementioned skill, it is totally worth the wait.  S’more season is a wonderful time of year and so fun to enjoy with the kids, as evidenced by this happy customer.

I have to admit that we have even stooped so low as to make them indoors, either using the microwave (gasp!) or the gas burners on the stove (double gasp!).  This does not give the same effect as the bonfire but it is passable when the conditions are not conducive to a fire outdoors.  So, when I stumbled across a recipe for S’more Cookies, I knew it was an answer to my prayers.  (I don’t really pray about s’mores but you understand the elation.)  I like the idea of an option that does not involve our microwave blowing something up ten times its normal size or using the gas flame on my stove as a substitute for an old-fashioned bonfire.

If you are experiencing the need for s’mores (and trust me, it is a need) and you would like to try the cookie version, I suggest you do.  It does not disappoint.  Take a peek at this baby!

I did not have mini-marshmallows (because, um, you can’t roast those teeny, tiny, little things!) so I improvised by cutting the big boys*.  I also did not measure out a cup, but used the cut up marshmallows at my discretion.

*Note:  By ‘big boys’ I do not mean the large, gigantic, enormous Campfire Marshmallows seen at a store near you.  Those babies are some serious marshmallows for serious roasters.  I was too afraid to buy them.  Could you imagine what they would do in the microwave?  *shudders*  My friend Beth bravely purchased them recently, and of course, we ate them with delight.  So, while I do recommend the super-size marshmallow giants, I do not necessarily recommend them for the cookies.  (Envision LOTS of cutting, which is certainly okay but not ideal.)

I also did not measure the chocolate – I just added squares as I saw fit.  A chocaholic’s dream.

That is all folks.  Just pure, unadulterated s’more bliss.  Whether it be the genuine s’more of your childhood, or a make-shift version using modern appliances, or the S’more Cookie – I wish you s’more and s’more!

Campfire Cookies (from Blog is the New Black, adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate bar, chopped
1 cup marshmallows

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda.
  3. Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter.
  4. Scoop the cookie dough into 2-tablespoon (5cm) balls and place 8 balls, spaced 4 inches (10cm) apart, on each of the baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, remove from the oven and push in marshmallows and chocolate.
  6. Bake for 3 more minutes, and cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Pastry Bliss

Lately, I have been reminiscing about France which gave me a serious craving for chocolate pastries.  I assure you there will be future posts of French memories.  For now, I must focus on the chocolate and the pastry.  The daydreaming begins…

A dark-haired woman sits at an outdoor cafe in Paris, sipping a cup of espresso.

A handsome French waiter approaches:  “Pain au chocolat, Mademoiselle?” 

Skinny, beautiful American woman replies:  “Oui, Monsieur!  Merci beaucoup!” in her best French accent (which is actually quite terrible in real life but in the fantasy it is perfect!)

(And yes, this is my daydream and I get to be beautiful and skinny in it!)

Woman experiences BLISS. True, unabashed BLISS.  She hears an orchestra playing music.  She considers running off with handsome French waiter.  But first, she must consume pastry. 

Where was I?  *wipes drool off chin* Oh yes!  Pain au chocolat is a pastry of delectable measure.  Similar to the croissant in its genetic makeup and filled with chocolate, there is nothing painful about it.  The ‘pain’ is simply French for bread.

In honor of the chocolate pastry and to satisfy my ever-growing desires, I made Nutella Turnovers this past weekend.  Which, mind you, are not exactly the same as what I enjoyed in Paris.  But they are certainly excellent imposters.  They were irresistible!  I cannot possibly tell you the number of pastries I consumed.  I cannot tell you because (a) I truly do not know how many and because (b) I don’t want you to think I am total loser with no self control.

I do know this.  It was more than one.  And less than eight.  (I know!!  Terrible.)  I had some help with the devouring process in the form of my husband and some dinner guests.  (Thank goodness!)

I might not be able to make these again.  They pulled me to them like a high powered magnet.  I cut one turnover in half, willing myself to be good.  It melted in my mouth.  Bliss.  Twenty minutes later, I had to go back for the other half.  And so the dance began with the Nutella Turnover leading the ENTIRE time.  Yes, my jeans are a little tight this week. I’m blaming it on PMS.

The creation of these turnovers was so simple.  They require six ingredients and I can guarantee you already have at least four in your kitchen.  You could easily substitute one tablespoon of a fruit pie filling in for the Nutella.  (Hmmm… Fruit or Chocolate?  Although the fruit would make it healthy…Right?)  I might do cherry or apple turnovers next time.  That is IF I let myself make them again.  There will have to be guests.  And self-control.

Like any good recipe, I stumbled upon this one purely by accident.  I happened to notice that The Pioneer Woman (I have mentioned her before and if you have not yet had a chance to check out her site, I highly encourage you to do so!) had a list of sites she likes and the first one was bell’alimento.  I’ll be going back to try more of Paula’s recipes.  Her photographs alone are divine.

bell’alimento’s Nutella Turnover Recipe with Divine Photographs

These turnovers would make a great addition to a brunch or breakfast event!   I hope you have a chance to try them and experience the bliss for yourself.  I’m going to get on my treadmill now.  Bon Appétit!

Printable Nutella Turnover Recipe

Nutella Cookies

Today my oven was graced with just four ingredients, which when combined were delightful.

Enter flour, sugar, an egg and *cue the alleluia music* Nutella.  Oh Nutella.  How I love you so.

These little guys even received praises from my dear husband, whose compliments can be slightly hard to come by.  Here is the recipe for Nutella Cookies.  Simple.  Easy.  Delicious.